Villegas Wins Canadian Skins Game

By Associated PressJune 17, 2008, 4:00 pm
VERNON, British Columbia -- With a couple of hundred of thousand dollars on the line, Camilo Villegas felt some nerves at his first Skins Game.
Coming off a top-10 finish at the U.S. Open, Villegas made more than $200,000 on Tuesday to win the two-day World Skins Game.
Villegas made a 4-foot birdie putt on the par-5 14th hole for $127,800, then added another $97,800 in a playoff.
I actually was (nervous) with that short putt on the par 5, but it was good, said Villegas, whose tie for ninth at Torrey Pines was his best finish in a major. Its good to feel the nerves, a little shaking, and why not? Just test yourself.
Villegas forced the closest-to-the pin playoff for the final four skins by matching Mike Weirs 10-foot birdie on the 18th hole.
I thought maybe he might do me a favor being Canadian, joked Weir, who was shut out in his first Skins Game in his home country in seven years.
After walking 130 yards back into the fairway, Villegas pitching wedge over water settled 20 feet past the pin. Fred Couples and Australias Greg Norman were both closer, but their shots finished on the fringe just short of the green and didnt count. So when Colin Montgomeries ball stopped a foot past Villegas, and Weir came up short of the green, Villegas had the title and over $226,000.
I was actually nearest to the pin, so I won really, said a laughing Norman, who instead had settled for second spot after winning $97,800 on the first day.
Couples, nicknamed King of Skins, was third after adding $29,340 Monday to career skins earnings over $5 million. Scotlands Colin Montgomerie was also shut out for a second-straight year at the internationally flavored event.
I was a little surprised I didnt get a skin, but I made a few birdies after not making any yesterday, Weir said. Its timing, you have to make them at the right time.
After combining for just one birdie in the first six holes the first day, the five golfers had eight through the first three holes on Tuesday. They did not, however, produce an outright winner until the fifth hole, a 540-yard par 5 that Villegas and Weir reached in two shots.
Weir left his first putt short and couldnt make his 12-foot par putt, allowing Villegas to two putt for six skins, including one carried over from the ninth hole Monday.
After grinding it out at Torrey Pines last week, the 26-year-old Colombian enjoyed the loose atmosphere and the company of a five-some with four major championships between them.
It was a little more relaxing, I can tell you that, said Villegas, who flew up late Sunday night to Predator Ridge, almost 300 miles northeast of Vancouver. Just look at those guys: Greg Norman, Mike Weir, Colin, Freddie Couples. Im just a kid out here, trying to get better and better every day, and its just fun to come out here and play good.
The playful banter between players also picked up from the first day, with Norman taking the microphone to correct his introduction as a former World No. 1 for 331 days.
It was 331 weeks, said the two-time British Open winner.
Montgomerie, a close second to Weir as the fan favorite after leading much of the jokes the first day, didnt miss a beat.
I was No. 2 for a month, Montgomerie said as he stepped up to the first tee, and then Tiger (Woods) was born.
Montgomerie wasnt available to the media as he rushed to a flight, but Couples was sticking around to unveil his latest course co-design, The Rise, nearby on Wednesday.
The event, sponsored by Telus, raised $250,000 for B.C. Childrens Hospital. That included $40,000 for 20 total birdies, and $3,000 for Normans lone eagle on Monday, which got him the first-day lead and a hug from fiance Chris Evert, the former tennis great who walked the course both days.
Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.